Restriction for large zones?

Jim Reid jim at
Wed Oct 6 15:38:34 UTC 2004

>>>>> "Tom" == Tom Schmitt <TomSchmitt at> writes:

    Tom> one of my dns-zones is growing large and has now nearly 100
    Tom> thousands records. My question is: Is there a limit how large
    Tom> a zone could be?

Yes. With BIND9, it's the limitations imposed by your hardware and
OS. ie How much RAM you can put in the box and how much VM the OS and
CPU allows a process to address. Zones with millions of RRs occupying
in excess of 1 GB are not unknown: the .de TLD for example. Though if
you have a zone file of the order of 100K RRs, it might be worth
considering partitioning the zone to make the data management issues
easier. These could include delegation of content control, smaller
zone transfers => faster propagation of new zone copies, etc, etc.

    Tom> Or is there a limit of any kind at which
    Tom> the performance is no longer acceptable?

Of course there is. But that'll depend on your definitions of
"performance" and "unacceptable". Usually, organisational problems
around the management of large data sets crop up long before the
physical limits of the name server are reached. You could also do
capacity planning to figure out when you'll need a bigger box or what
happens when the name server reaches the limits of what's possible on
your current platform.

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